May We All Follow Samanlobhadra Bodhisattva’s Practices
Written by: Ven. Guo Chi
Translated by: Judith Lee
Samanlobhadra Bodhisattva’s loving-kindness and compassion
He leads all commoners and saints reaching enlightenment;
His capacity for detachment surpasses all;
His Ten Vows which follows Buddha’s compassionate vows will guide all sentient beings to arrive at Pureland;
He helps practitioners of three paths reach enlightenment;
All living beings with good karma will receive needed guidance to rid defilement quickly;
We shall all keep in mind of his teachings and commit ourselves to finding our Buddha-self diligently during this lifetime
Pu Sheng in Sanskrit is Samanlobhadra. Pu means “universal.”Sheng means”highest merit “and “everywhere auspicious.” Pu Sheng Bodhisattva is particularly known for his deep vows and diligent practices.His bodhi -minded vows and practices have no limitation in boundary. He teaches and guides living beings wherever and whenever the right occasions call for.There is no limitation for the numbers of living beings he wishes to influence and teach.He is a role model even for many Buddhas as well,hence,he is called the”the greatest practitioner Pu Sheng”.
He is regarded as one of the four great bodhisattvas in Buddhism.
His temple is located at Mount Emei,Szechuan which was built by Pu-Ong during the Jin dynasty.
The statue of Pu Sheng Budhisattva shows that his complexion is golden.His crown is decorated with six precious maoni baochi which represent six types of wisdoms. His one hand shows dharma wheel sign while another holds a red lotus flower between his fingers.His legs are half crossed,sitting on a white elephant with six tusks. The six tusks symbolizes morality and reward.
Samanlobhadra Bodhisattva stands at Sakyamuni Buddha’s right side an Manjasri Bodhisattva（His statue often shows he sits on a lion）stands at Sakyamuni Buddha’s left side, together they are regarded as the three saints of Avatamsaka.
Samanlobhadra Bodhisattva’s white elephant symbolizes diligent practices.The six tusks represents six perfections i.e.Giving,Morality,Patience,Vigor,Dhyana,Meditation,and Prajna Wisdom.All together they symbolize Pu Sheng’s supreme practices and vows.
At Buddhist’s temples, the morning rituals almost always include reciting Samanlobhadra Bodhisattva’s Ten Grand Vows.These vows are our daily practice guides.If we follow and reflect upon these vows often then our cultivating practices will be correct and steady, will lead us to enlightenment.,
The Ten Grand Vows are as follows:
The first, Pay homage and respect to all Buddhas
The second, Praise all Buddhas
The third, Make abundant offerings
The fourth, Repent misdeeds and evil actions
The fifth,Rejoice in others’ merits and virtues
The sixth,Request Buddhas to teach
The seventh,Request Buddhas to remain in the world
The eighth,Follow the teachings of Buddhas at all time
The ninth, Accommodate and benefit all living beings
The tenth,Transfer all merits universally
Manjasri represents wisdom. Samanlobhadra represents great practices.Together,they represent dyana and wisdom cultivating at the same time. When combine with the practice of compassion,wisdom,vows and action, it forms a perfect and comprehensive learning plan. Samanlobhadra is a role model of all buddhsattvas who practice Mahayana Buddhism. Samanlobhadra Bodhisattva guides and instruct all living beings to reach enlightenment with his deep vows and practices. In our daily life, as long as we consciously make vows coincides with his Ten Grand Vowd, he will not only bless us to reach our personal fulfillment ,will also strengthen our ability to help others to reach enlightenment .
At buddhist temple,the evening ritual often includes the chanting of “Pu Sheng Bodhysattva Cautioning Hymn”.It reads “The day is over;So our life is shorter; Like fish in diminishing water;There is no joy to speak of;All of You! Cultivating diligently as if saving ourselves from burning hairs;Be mindful of impermanence; Staying away from being slothful “.
Life is full of crisis, just like fish lives in steadily drying water.
We need to be alert and cautious, always mindful of cultivating our dharma practices, and avoiding from seeking only sensual pleasures.If we all immerse ourselves daily in practicing Pu Sheng Bodhisattva’s Grand Practices and Vows, cultivating ourselves diligently, walking along Buddha’s paths, then this is the Pureland on earth and the True-Self Pureland as advocated by Sheng Yen Dharma Master!
(Morning services daily 6:30 A.M. Evening services 4:30 P.M.,
Schedule may slightly modified during special events) .You are sincerely invited to participate in the group studies.May we all immerse ourselves in Pu Sheng’s Grand Vows,glorify and honor our Buddha-self!